Large Crowds Overwhelm Officials Providing Hurricane Help

MIAMI (AP) — Officials in South Florida were overwhelmed with the response for food assistance from people affected by Hurricane Irma.

Ofelia Martinez, a site manager for the Department of Children and Families, tells the Miami Heraldthat some 50,000 people were already in line when the doors opened Sunday morning at a facility in Miami’s Tropical Park.

In this Sept. 13, 2017, photo, debris surrounds a destroyed structure in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Big Pine Key, Fla. Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years, a new Associated Press analysis shows. The latest punishing hurricanes scored bull’s-eyes on two of the country’s fastest growing regions: coastal Texas around Houston and resort areas of southwest Florida. Photo: AP Photo/Alan Diaz.

On Saturday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office canceled Sunday’s voucher giveaway there due to “safety concerns and overwhelming response.” Officials say scuffles broke out and people fainted from the heat while standing in long lines.

The state agency says more than 1.1 million people applied for the program, which provides vouchers that can be used a grocery stores.

It was unclear whether everyone who showed up Sunday got a chance to apply.